Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Solar System Missions Update 2021-09

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of September 1st 2021.

Juno starts the Month with its 36th perijove.

Some new missions were announced: Intuitive Machines 3rd commercial payload mission to the Moon, IM-3, in 2024, and Rocket Lab will construct the ESCAPADE (Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers) mission to Mars, also in 2024.

Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Solar System Missions Update 2021-08

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of August 1st 2021.

The inner Solar System is where it's at this month, with an almost simultaneous encounter at Venus of ESAs Solar Orbiter on the 9th and Bepi Colombo on the 10th, along with JAXAs Akatsuki already in Venus orbit. [Flyby dates corrected]

Parker Solar Probe has its 9th perihelium on the 9th at a distance of 0.074 AU, or a bit more than 11 million kilometers.

Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Solar System Missions Update 2021-07

Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of July 1st 2021.

So now we suddenly have a sizeable fleet of missions heading to Venus in the next decade, most of which don't yet appear on the list because it doesn't go that far into the future yet. Anyway, here's the list of announced missions to Venus so far:

  • 2023 Rocket Lab Venus probe; So far not much details apart from the announcement
  • ~2024 Shukrayaan-1 (India), also not much details, at least it has a name
  • ~2024 Chinese Venus Exploration Orbiter, surprisingly the Chinese space agenca also doesn't provide details
  • 2028 VERITAS (USA, JPL)
  • ~2029 Venera-D (Russia)
  • 2030 DAVINCI+ (USA, Goddard)
  • 2031/2 EnVision (Europe, ESA)

    Meanwhile, for the Moon also lots of announcements, but not much details, new CLPS missions, and the Chinese/Russian South pole exploration beyond Luna 27 and Chang-E 8.

    On to Jupiter, where JunoJuno has its next perijove (#35) on the 20th, beginning its extended mission with 42 more orbits until 2025.

    Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

  • Monday, May 31, 2021

    Solar System Missions Update 2021-06

    Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of June 1st 2021.

    The Chinese Zhurong rover has landed on Mars and even send back some images! (#SarkasmOff) Ingenuity keeps on flyin' and is now tagging along with Perseverance as long as it'll last.

    In Moon news, well, DOGE-1... that's a thing now, launch in 2022. The Intuitive Machines NOVA-C lander will launch in January 2022 and the second mission PRIME-1 or NOVA-C IM-2 in December 2022.

    On to Jupiter, whre JunoJuno has its next perijove (#34) on the 7th, and a Ganymede flyby at 3676km distance.

    Finally, I made an important decision about the size of the published graphic: larger! To be precise 1920 by 1430 pixels, that sounded cromulent to me.

    Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

    Friday, April 30, 2021

    Solar System Missions Update 2021-05

    Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of May 1st 2021.

    So Mars helicopter Ingenuity was very busy last Month, and got it's mission extended for another 30 days to accompany Perseverance to demonstrate Rover-Drone cooperation. I'm so happy for them! In other Mars news, the Chinese Mars rover is now called Zhurong (祝融) and will likely land in Utopia Planitia this Month or in June.

    China has also launched Tianhe, the core module of its space station. Andrew Jones has the schedule of all planned further operations to complete the station, so far as they are currently publicated.

    This month OSIRISREx will depart asteroid Bennu towards Earth on May 10th. Juno has its 33rd perijove on the 15th. And NASA has selected sa lunar lander: SpaceX's Moonship.

    Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

    Solar System Missions Update 2021-04

    Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of April 1st 2021.

    On April 1st Mars helicopter Ingenuity will likely already be standing on it's own legs, independent from Perseverance. The first flight is expected on the 11th. Next up will be the Chinese Tianwen-1 lander EDL to Utopia Planitia in May or June.

    This month OSIRISREx will do one last Bennu close approach on April 6th before departing the asteroid towards Earth on May 5th. Parker Solar Probe has its eighth perihelion at 0.074 AU (~11 million km) on the 29th. Also this month NASA will probably select a lunar lander for the Artemis program.

    New in the list of future missions is the Indian Shukrayaan Venus orbiter that will probably launch in 2024 if it happens. Finally, the Chinese Change'5 orbiter has reached the Earth/Sun L1 lagrange point.

    Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.

    [Dates corrected 2021-4-2]

    Sunday, February 28, 2021

    Solar System Missions Update 2021-03

    Here's my map of all active and future Solar System Missions as of March 1st 2021.

    After the excitement of last Month the following weeks will be a little more quiet. The next things to look forward to are one last Bennu close approach for OSIRISREx in April before departing the asteroid towards Earth in May, Perseverance deploying the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, and the Chinese Tianwen-1 lander EDL in May.

    New in the list of future missions is Blue Ghost, another commercial payload delivery from Firefly Aerospace in 2023.

    Data, images and documentation are available on my space exploration history GitHub repository and the associated website.